By Betty Murray
A busy back to school schedule means cutting corners on healthy meals for many families. Do you find yourself ordering pizza for the family or sitting in the drive-thru lane more often now that school is back in session? When the kids get home from school, are you more likely to sit them down with an unhealthy snack simply because you don’t have time to prepare a healthy snack for them to eat?
Every meal eaten away from home could add more than 100 calories to your daily intake. Going for what’s quick and easy could result in weight gain, as well as lack of energy and overall poor health. Your schedule may be busy, but don’t let that be a reason to settle on less than the healthiest meals for you and your family.
- Pack your lunch — Whether it’s for the kids at school or yourself at work, packing your own lunch is one easy way to cut calories. Fresh, organic fruits and veggies, trail mix, hummus — fuel yourself and the kids for the day with healthy, low-calorie foods rather than relying on the drive-thru or school lunches.
- Homemade after school snacks — Make a homemade yogurt parfait by layering Greek yogurt and fresh, organic fruit. Pair carrot sticks or celery with hummus. For protein, eat tofu or other soy-based foods for a source of lean protein.
- Cook and eat dinner as a family — The best way for your children to learn to eat healthy is for to them to see you prepare and eat health meals. Take your kids to the grocery store with you and teach them how to buy nutritious foods. Invite them to cook with you so they’ll learn to make healthy meals. Sit down and eat as a family. Take time to engage your kids in conversation about their day. Conversation during dinner also encourages slower eating, allowing the body to fully digest and feel full before you eat too much.
Although your schedule may be busy this fall, do not allow yourself to cut corners with your meals. Providing yourself and your kids with healthy meals will ensure you have the energy you need to make it through the day.
Betty Murray, CN, HHC, RYT is a Certified Nutritionist & Holistic Health Counselor, founder of the Dallas-based integrative medical center, Wellness and founder of the Metabolic Blueprint wellness program. Betty’s nutrition counseling practice specializes in metabolic and digestive disorders and weight loss resistance. A master of the biochemistry of the body, Betty teaches her clients how to utilize nutritional interventions to improve their health. Betty is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Nutrition Professionals.